Monday, February 8, 2016

Tonda Hines, Elkhart city council member, appears in a promotional video for Yes4Elkhart in this screenshot.

Yes4Elkhart is passing out information on Elkhart schools' referendum on door hangs and giant postcards. (Lydia Sheaks/The Elkhart Truth)
Yes4Elkhart group will pass out copies of school's budget at meeting

Posted on March 31, 2014 at 10:43 p.m.

A local group hopes that giving the people what they want will mean better attendance at a meeting on Elkhart schools' referendum.

Yes4Elkhart, the political action committee promoting Elkhart's referendum, will host a second informational meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 2 at Memorial High School.

Organizers plan to pass out copies of the school's budget after getting several requests for this information from the public.

"It's the right thing to do to put that out there," Tanzie Nielsen of the Yes4Elkhart group said, adding that the information could entice some that had been questioning the referendum to attend the meeting.

Attendees will hear some of the same information presented at the first meeting March 10, but two new speakers will focus on specific portions of the school corporation's plan to use referendum money.

James Lake of Kovert-Hawkins Architects will talk about the safety renovations proposed for several school buildings, and Todd Samuelson of Umbaugh and Associates will address the school corporation's debt structure and the effect of property tax caps, according to Superintendent Rob Haworth.

The campaign

Yes4Elkhart volunteers have been campaigning hard for the referendum by staying active on social media and showing up at many community events like the recent Inspire Elkhart.

Nielsen, a member of Yes4Elkhart, said the group will start door-to-door canvasing of "multiple areas in Elkhart" starting Saturday, April 5. 

"We want to talk to people," she said. "We want to put a face to this issue and we want people to know there’s someone to reach out to on this issue."

The group has printed door hangs and giant postcards, as well as some other items, that describe Yes4Elkhart and its goal to get residents to "vote YES twice" in the upcoming election.

These items are paid for by donations to the campaign, Nielsen said. 

Posts to the Yes4Elkhart Facebook page often ask people to donate, including one from March 27 that said "Concord has been able to raise more money for their referendum campaign than we have" and "If everyone who likes this page donated $5, we'd have $7,000 more dollars to share this message with so many more people."

Nielsen declined to say how much money the Yes4Elkhart campaign has raised through donations so far, adding that the budget for the campaign is constantly changing depending on how much money is available.

Yes4Elkhart also now has a phone number -- 214-5498 -- people can call with questions about the referendum. The phone is usually off, but a campaign member will check it daily and return messages, Nielsen said.

The group has paid for several videos featuring community members explaining why the referendum is important, and they are also now sending out information in Spanish as well as English.

Follow reporter Lydia Sheaks on Twitter at @LydiaSheaks